Is Communion Mandatory for a Christian

Lorraine Day, M.D.

Q. Isn’t Communion mandatory for a Christian?  If one is not a member of an Organized Church, how does one participate in Communion?

A. Is Communion nothing more than a ritual?  If not, how does it change one’s character to that of Christ’s?

Matthew version:

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.”

“Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.  This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for (the) many for the forgiveness of sins.”  Matthew 26:26-28

Luke version:

“And He took bred, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.

“Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”  Luke 22:19,20




Please notice that “they were eating.”  This was a regular meal of Jesus and His disciples.  It was not a ritual.  They were eating a meal of food to nourish their physical body, as one does every day.

What is it Jesus wants us to do “in remembrance of Him”?  Drink a thimble full of grape juice and eat a cracker?  Or devour His Word, the Bible - which He says is represented by His flesh and blood?

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  John 1:14

Which will help us become more like Christ? 


Jesus was illustrating to His disciples – His friends - that a person need’s physical food to maintain physical life (Greek word psuche - #5590 in Strong’s Concordance), just as we need Spiritual food (diligent, personal, study of the Bible) to maintain Spiritual life (Greek word zoe - #2222 in Strong’s Concordance).

There are numerous times during Jesus’ ministry that He used physical food and drink to represent the need for Spiritual food and drink.  In the following passage Jesus clearly states His message.

“Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, hath eonian life (the life of Christ in us).

I am that bread of life.

Your fathers did eat manna (physical food) in the wilderness and died.

This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die (He will have eonian life – the life and character of Christ that will, eventually, allow him to live forever.)

I am the living (zoe – spiritual life) bread that came down from heaven:  if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for the eons: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life (zoe – spiritual life) of the world.

The Jews (literal: Judahites) therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat?  (They could only understand with their five senses – literally.  They could NOT understand spiritual things.)

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life (zoeeonian life) in you.

Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, has eonian life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.

As the living (eonian life) Father hath sent Me, and I live (eonian life) by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live (eonian life) through Me.

This (Jesus) is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live (zoe) to the eon (have eonian life.)

Many of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a difficult saying: who can understand it?

It is the Spirit (breath) that makes alive (zoe): the (physical) flesh profiteth nothing: the WORDS that I speak unto you, they are spirit (breath) and they are (eonian) life (zoe).”  John 6:47-63


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  John 1:1,14

Jesus is the “Word” – the Scriptures.  The WORD was made “flesh” and we must “eat that flesh” as Spiritual food and “drink His blood” as Spiritual drink through daily study of His Word, diligently and fervently.  That is the way Jesus speaks to us.  That is the way Jesus changes us into His image.  That is the way Jesus fills us with His life – eonian life – the life of Christ in us, so we can exhibit His character.

“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (little by little) even as by the Spirit (breath) of the Lord.”  2 Cor 3:18

By beholding Christ, we become changed – into His image!

 When God breathes His (Spiritual) breath of holiness into us (mistranslated Holy Spirit) by our diligent study of His Word, He gives us eonian life (routinely mistranslated “eternal” life) – the life of Christ in us.

Conclusion on Communion:

It is nothing more than a ritual to eat a tiny cracker and drink a thimble-full of wine.  It does nothing to change one’s character or make one closer to Jesus Christ.  It is nothing but a ritual.

 God became angry with Israel when they made the sacrificial system into nothing more than a ritual and had no understanding of what the system symbolized – the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, to die on the cross and “take away the sin of the world.”

Here is God’s response to Israel’s continuing sacrificial rituals – that had taken the place of obedience to God.  This is what always happens when believers become obsessed with rituals – because rituals are much easier, and more convenient, than obeying God’s Word.

“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken.  I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me.

“The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master’s trough: but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.

“Ah sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are turned backward. . .

 “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. . .

“Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

“Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

 “To what purpose is this multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I do NOT delight in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

“When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand to trample My courts?

Bring no more futile sacrifices: incense is an abomination to Me: the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure them: it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

“Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates: they are a trouble to Me: I am weary to bear them.

“And when you pray, I will hide My eyes from you: yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of bloodshed.

“Wash yourselves, and make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes; cease to do evil;

“Learn to do well; seek justice, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”  Isaiah 1:2-17

It is clear that God wants obedience, NOT rituals – whether they were Old Testament sacrificial rituals that had become meaningless by their repetition – or whether they are New Testament rituals, such as Communion, something easy, that the people love, rather than the hard work of obeying God’s command to study (devour) the Scriptures fervently and diligently – and daily – alone with God!

Fermented wine?

“In addition, most churches serve fermented wine.  Fermentation of anything always signifies sin.  That is why during certain Feasts, the Israelites were told to put all leaven out of their houses.  Leaven refers to yeast – the fermentation process – which, in the Bible, always symbolizes sin.  They were to eat only unleavened bread.

So when a church uses fermented wine as a symbol of Christ’s blood, they are guilty of blasphemy.  In essence, they are saying that Christ’s blood was sinful – that Jesus Christ was a sinner!

Only pure, unfermented grape juice (the fruit of the vine in its pure form) can represent the blood of Christ.

Unfortunately, the entire Christian church has embraced the physical interpretation of Communion – eating a cracker and a few drops of alcoholic wine - which certainly cannot make anyone holy.  Yet the pastors and church members are totally oblivious to what Christ is trying to teach us – the Spiritual interpretation of Communion: to be committed to daily, in-depth, personal, diligent Bible study and prayer so Christ can put His Spiritual life in us.